The day is here. We woke up together at 6:30 am for the last time. All the alarms went off, we sat up, and just stared at each other. No one wants to get to San Francisco anymore.
Elliot played our motivational wake-up recording, something that we will all remember for ever (it even made it onto our 4K playlist with 24 songs that we titled “Now! that’s what I call music 4K!”) It’s great for early morning wake-ups and days we know are going to be tough. Listen to it on youtube! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbkZrOU1Zag
Everyone took their time getting ready, rolling our sleeping bags, letting ari out of our thermarests, and packing our duffels and backpacks for the last time. We all signed each others legs and jerseys, wearing our San Francisco ones as a team.
Around 8 am, it was time for our last dedication circle. Cue the tears. Today is dedicated to Team San Francisco 2014. We started this journey 70 days ago in Baltimore, Maryland as complete strangers. Everyone had beautiful things to say about each other and this journey.
Our last quote was from Steve Jobs, “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently — They’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Today’s cheer was the best one: loud and full of so much passion.
We rolled out in the same groups as Day 1. Team Baltimore was Tyler, Carissa, Harshini, and myself (also Michaela, but she left the trip on Day 14). We were first to head out, taking an awesome bike route all the way through Sausalito and to the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s crazy to think 70 days have come and gone and we now know each other so well. We met under the bridge and above it for a ton of pictures. Everyone just tried to take in the last few moments together.
Unfortunately, it was cold and foggy, so we couldn’t see much of San Francisco or the bridge.
We rode together over the Golden Gate Bridge, through Crissy Field, until we were welcomed by our families and friends cheering us on. The minute we passed them, we got off our bikes, and ran for each other forming a huge group hug. That lasted for about a minute, full of tears, until we somehow started our team cheer. After, we said hi to our families, mine being my dad and my brother Kyle.
Brian Satola said a few words, we awarded our last scholarship (to a kid who watched his mother fight cancer for 16 years until she passed away a year ago. He is attending Northwestern University and is in need of this money), and then introduced each of our teammates. Emily introduced me, saying the nicest words, but also making me tutorial the “smize” in front of everyone. I then introduced Holden (Cookson, 4K for Cancer). After, we took our bikes, dipped our tires into the Pacific Ocean (San Francisco Bay), and then jumped into the frigid water. We celebrated and hugged and cheered until we were too cold to endure the water much longer. We all ran out and went straight to the van to get our duffel bags and backpacks. Somewhere in all this, I lost track of everyone. I thought perhaps we’d all meet up later tonight, but found it weird how people already started splitting up. To think we had been together for so long, gotten so close, and shared such an incredible bond, and then unable to say goodbye, was sad. I said goodbye to the ones I could and then mounted my bicycle (not done yet) and rode up the huge hills of San Francisco to the hotel.
Now to get ready for dinner with Draper, Kos, and Lauren.
I’ll post a closing statement and thoughts later. And pictures hopefully, too.